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At the palace Thursday, May 7, 2015

Yesterday after a fraught rail journey – yet more ‘signalling problems’ on Southern Railways leading to yet more delays – to Buckingham Palace with Virginia and all three children, or grown-ups as they are now. A windy rainy day and a surreal experience. Crossing the forecourt of the palace, my son prompted me to turn and look back. There ran the long line of tall black railings, with the faces of the crowd pressed against them, watching not us but the world we were entering. The sensation of being inside. But strikingly there was no security, no bag checks, no X-rays, Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Daniel Burton

May 22nd 2015

Hi William, My name is Daniel Burton and I am a year 6 class teacher in Whitley, Reading. Over the past few months our class have been enjoying your book : 'The Wind Singer' as our guided reading text. The class absolutely love it! Many of them have actually stated that it is there favourite book...ever. Due to this, they have all been inspired to write to you and they have an intriguing proposition... I was wondering if there was an address we could send these letters and if you would possibly be so kind as to give a message to this young army of fans. After half-term, they will only have 8 weeks left at Primary school and they are desperate to hear your thoughts on there writing. Obviously, I understand you may have many commitments but any message you could give would be a true inspiration to these aspriring readers and writers. Many thanks, Daniel

William Nicholson responded:

I'd be delighted. I'll send you an answer from my personal email so we can correspond.

Posted by John

May 18th 2015

After many years since the first time, I just finished re-reading the Wind on Fire Trilogy. Knowing how things were going to end made it even more enjoyable than the first time. What an inspiration to live life to its fullest! What great characters. I need at least one character who I want to be friends with, or want to actually be, or I can’t submerge myself into a story. In these books I loved all of the major characters. That’s rare. And aside from those pluses, what a fun story! You said (at least I think I remember this from one of your long ago blog posts) that you wrote the first book without any thought of a sequel, and went back and added a couple of references to “the Homeland” as a last minute edit when the second and third books were envisioned. I’ve no right to doubt your word. But reading the story a second time and knowing how the characters were going to develop, it was a delight to sense the seeds of the mature young adults in the children. You couldn’t have created a more real, more believable foundation for what was to come if you’d planned it that way from the start. Granted, there are loose ends and unanswered questions. Who is the pale eyed lady who personifies the Morah? Why did the Manth folk surrender the voice of the wind singer to the Zars in the first place if it could turn the Zars to dust? How does the next generation of Singers get trained if the previous generation has been consumed by fire? But I can imagine satisfactory answers of my own and so don’t need to know the “true” answers from you. But there is a question that has prompted me to write. Given that a major theme of the story is the rewards of living by faith, and faith in a rather vague and wild tongued prophet at that, would you see yourself as ever being able to live by following a prophet (living or dead) yourself? Or are you pretty confident that the only truth you could follow is your own inner promptings? It’s an honest question, not leading up to evangelization or a follow on question. I’m not religious myself, and yet I could see myself becoming convinced to follow a prophet. If not, I don’t think that I could have enjoyed Wind on Fire so well. So I’m curious, could the writer of this story be immune to that call? On the other hand, you’ve written other books. If the question is too personal, or too direct, perhaps you’d be willing to instead say something about your relative fondness for Wind On Fire versus your other young adult trilogy: Noble Warriors? That response would answer my question just as well. Oh, and congratulation on the royal award. It sounds like it was a fun behind-the-scenes tour.

William Nicholson responded:

You're right, there are loose ends. Too late now… Would I follow a prophet? Not follow, as in become a disciple, no; but listen to with respect, and learn from, yes. Have my eyes and mind opened to new ways of seeing and thinking, yes. Many prophets, I hope. As for my two trilogies, the first, The Wind on Fire, is far better read and known, but the second, The Noble Warriors, is closer to my heart. I really went on a major trip writing that.

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